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Monday, December 24, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Certain types of photography offer the practitioner something more than the act of creating an aesthetic image. Reading Susan Sontag’s “On Photography”, it is interesting to note that she sees the act of photography as something possessive, sometimes distancing, the result aesthetic or instrumental. The view is particularly cynical at times where she paints a dystopia-like world where the camera is a controlling force on people. Apart from the alarming levels of surveillance that she considers and which have become very much a fact of life post 9/11, there is the mind numbing mundanity that the all pervasive camera-phone has created. There isn’t a single thing or object that is not photographed now. It tends to be done without thought apart from the simple purpose to record and disseminate. But the photography created by this snap-shot culture is all about the product or result of the camera, and very little critical thought goes into the action.
Obviously, as a photographer, the end result - a finished print- is pretty much the goal of any picture-taking exercise. There is something more to nature photography in particular than simply creating art though. Alfred Stieglitz, arguably one of the most influential photographers in having photography recognized as art, commented that the [final] image should reflect what the photographer saw and felt’. It’s the aesthetic emotional experience that ultimately influences the photographer and is the basis for creative inspiration. Interpreting this into an image is possibly the most difficult task that the photographer can undertake.
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Posted by Emil von Maltitz at 12:51 PM
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
"Are you really sure you want to go for it", the voice asks querulously over the phone. It's raining outside, and dark. The weather forecast for the following morning is equally bleak. 'IT' refers to waking up at 2:00 am in the morning and driving for 2 hours to get to a location to do a morning shoot for a client of a farm in the Eshowe area of Kwazulu-Natal. The problem is that we just don't have any leeway in terms of alternative days. The images need to be created for an article that the client is putting together for a newspaper feature and the weather forecast looks wet for the the next week, let alone just for the next 24 hours. I have to admit that at 4am, waiting for my contact on the side of the road with rain pattering down on the bonnet of my car, I was starting to question my own sanity.
Posted by Emil von Maltitz at 10:11 AM